A successful, forward-thinking organization always strives to fortify their digital infrastructure through application of security controls. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides global, best…

What is ISO 27001 and How Can it Benefit Your Business?

A successful, forward-thinking organization always strives to fortify their digital infrastructure through application of security controls. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides global, best practice information security standards that benefit automation, boost workforce productivity, and foster sustainable growth. For companies looking to boost their information security management, implementing ISO 27001 standards into their business processes and IT frameworks can add efficiency, optimize security protocols, and assure quality control.

What is ISO?

The ISO along with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) are a joint, global organization that caters to businesses in a diverse group of industries. They create and promote international standards that aid in the manufacturing of systems, the growth of sustainable foods, creation of reliable pharmaceuticals, operation of information security programs and much more.

Although the ISO/IEC organization creates the global standards, they do not certify other organizations or companies.  In each member country, accreditation bodies create requirements for companies looking to register for an ISO certification. Currently, there is only a small group of accreditation bodies in the United States – with the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) the foremost among them. From there, the accreditation body relies on authorized certification companies to employ auditors who certify prospective companies.

What is ISO 27001?

The ISO 27001 standard contains the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system (ISMS). It also includes requirements for the assessment and treatment of information security risks tailored to the needs of the organization. The requirements are meant to apply to all organizations regardless of the size, type, or nature.

The ISO 27001:2013 standard consists of three main parts:

  • Clause 1 defines the scope of the standard
  • Clauses 4 – 10 define requirements regarding context, leadership, planning, support, operation, evaluation, and improvement
  • Annex A enumerates all the technical, administrative, organizational, and physical controls that must be in place throughout the organization.

To achieve ISO 27001 certification, companies are subject to an in-depth auditing process. Qualifying is not an easy task; most ISO 27001 certifications take six to twelve months to obtain. After being certified, it remains active for three years. The first year is a full audit, with the next two years consisting of surveillance audits that alternate between locations. After three years, the company must renew their certification, or remove all declaration of ISO certification on company platforms and documentation.

What is the current version of the ISO 27001 standard? 

Most ISO standards are continuously updated every five years, but it has been almost a decade since the publication of ISO 27001:2013 (although there were minor changes released in 2014 and 2015).  The working group handling the ISO 27001 standard is on-track to publish a fully updated version in October of 2022.  This will  align with the current version of ISO 27002:2022. Most companies who are already certified to the ISO 27001:2013 version will be required to transition to the 27001:2022 standard over the next couple of years.

For those companies seeking certification, the ISO 27001:2013 clauses stating the requirements for the ISMS are still valid until the next version is published.

For the controls in ISO 27002, many changes have been made since the 2013 version. Instead of 14 control categories with 114 controls, the ISO 27002:2022 standard contains 93 controls organized around just four themes:

  • Organizational Controls (37 controls)
  • People Controls (8 controls)
  • Physical Controls (14 controls)
  • Technological Controls (34 controls)

New controls include threat intelligence, information security for use of cloud services, ICT readiness for business continuity, physical security monitoring, configuration management, information deletion, data masking, data leakage prevention, monitoring activities, web filtering, and secure coding.

The new standard also contains tags (called attributes) to facilitate different views and groupings of all the controls by control type, information security properties, cybersecurity concepts, and operational capabilities.

How Can an ISO 27001 Certification Benefit Your Business?

ISO certifications can benefit your business in several ways:

Data Protection & Asset Security  It’s no secret that all data and assets within a company are at risk without proper security clearance controls. Going through the ISO auditing process can help companies enhance security procedures, while effectively managing their information assets. Through this, companies can better track internal and external data access protocols.

Continual Process & Framework Improvement – Businesses need a system that defines, implements, monitors, reviews, and continually improves their processes – all while meeting security and business objectives. ISO provides the guidelines for businesses to follow and continually updates these processes to ensure they are up to date to maximize the security of data or company assets.

Ensuring Legal Compliance  Controls in the ISO 27001 standard work to ensure companies comply with legal, statutory, regulatory, and contractual requirements.

Operational Efficiency & Cost Reduction  Companies are always looking to allocate their budget in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. The ISO 27001 guidelines provide businesses with a framework for implementing efficient management solutions that minimize risk and reduce costs, regardless of company size.

Partner with Resolvit for Your ISO 27001 Certification

Looking to become certified in ISO 27001 or recertify for the new standard? Resolvit can help. As an ISO 27001 certified company, our team has first-hand application experience and understands the complexities of the certification process.

Resolvit professionals partner with your internal teams to develop and execute an optimal information security management plan, while conducting pre-audits that thoroughly prepare your organization for the ISO 27001 certification process.

Contact us to get started and secure your organization’s critical IT assets today.

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